Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Happenings!

As I sit here snacking of some apple pie that somehow escaped consumption yesterday, I'll reminisce with you about the last few days for the McCoys. By the way, how was your Thanksgiving?? =)

For the first time ever, we spent Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law and his wife (Jesse and Tara) and their three little men. It was absolutely the BEST Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. (Sorry, mom). Tara made a delicious turkey that was so moist and flavorful! And some very savory sausage and apple stuffing. I would have never thought I would like sausage and apple stuffing but it just goes to show that trying something new occasionally pays off big time! Aside from the turkey, there were 10 side dishes. The table was so full, one more salt shaker would not have fit! It was really great food, and really great company.

On Wednesday, Maddie helped me prepare my contributions to the meal and dessert:
After stuffing ourselves like pigs, we headed over to my in laws where we again managed to gorge ourselves on desserts. I have a terrible sweet tooth as everyone by now surely knows so I was quite up to the challenge.

The post-dessert semi comatose slumps:


Then the traditional McCoy family Thanksgiving day bowling!! I thought this would be Maddie's favorite part of the day but the poor thing just couldn't take it anymore... check out how she sits with her legs crossed:

Eden however had a swell time at the bowling alley! Here she is playing with her cousin, Eli:

Seth prepares...

...and executes.

Daddy and Eden cheer on other players:

And my nephew Gunner was cheering as well:

Maddie gave her support silently. She slept in my arms for 2 games but here she was finally waking up a bit. When we offered to get her some shoes so she could join the kids for the 3rd and final game, she eagerly and enthusiastically agreed. But when it came time to actually go up with everyone watching, she dramatically changed her mind. And I mean dramatically. So I traded her shoes in and played a game with the little kids in the lane with the bumpers. I came in second place. My nephew, Tucker beat me. He's four. And yes, I was trying my best. Stop laughing at me!! I mean it-- you're hurting my feelings!!
I need more pie.

After bowling, we always go over to Seth's Aunt Terry and Uncle Ed's house to mooch off of their leftovers and take another round of dessert therapy. Many years, we've stayed until all hours of the morning playing board games but this year, our girls were tired, as were we. We're getting old and like to go to bed!
We had a very busy day today, enjoyed a yummy dinner of leftovers and then dove into the Christmas decorating. We're 75% done and have called it quits for tonight. We were not expecting to be in this house for the holidays so Seth took the hooks off of the roof that we always used for our icicle lights. He's informed me that he has no intentions of putting them all back up. Disappointment has pierced my heart. This house looks so cute with icicle lights and our simple outdoor decorations. This disappointment has led to the need for pie.
Somehow I ended up coming home with two almost full pies thta my mother in law, the master pie maker, made. Seth and the girls don't like pie. This. is. not. good. If anyone wants to come over, I will share....

Maddie had the honor of putting the angel on the tree:Seth had the honor of fixing it:
I really enjoy sitting with Seth at night after the girls go to bed with all the house lights off and just the white Christmas lights shining... and a nice piece of pie. Ahhhh. Christmas time is here!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

The preparations are made... turkeys are brining, pies are set, recipe cards and cans are set out on counter tops. A delicious feast is on it's way. It's going to wonderful... scrumptious food eaten the company of family.
And then: it will be over.
Here's a few thoughts to feed your soul...
O taste and see that the Lord is good...

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst

All the days of the afflicted evil: but he that is of a merry heart a continual feast


I am thankful for... oh where to start? I have been blessed and blessed. Its so hard to make a list of things for which I am grateful to the Lord because I could never include all that He's done for me. So for that reason, I'm going to simply list 10... the first 10 blessings that come to my mind.



1. Being saved. Hope in Heaven and a life worth living here on earth.


2. Being married to a Godly man. Seth really did get the short end of the stick in this arrangement. Why God blessed me with such a good man, I'll never know. But I'm enjoying it and doing my best not to mess him all up.


3. My little girls. Maddie and Eden are perfectly healthy and a great source of joy in our life.


4. My home. I have it packed to the gills and I would double it's size in a heartbeat, but it's warm and safe and that is really all we need, right?


5. My church. What a great thing God did when He made the Church... He must have known that I would need the direction and guidance of a wise Pastor and friends to encourage me. Our church really is a family and I love each person there, and miss those that aren't there anymore.


6. Good health. I can see, walk, hear. I have no ailments to speak of. I have never known what it is to face chronic serious pain or sickness.


7. The big rusty ol' bus that picked me up as a little girl to take me to church. Where would I be if no one had cared about the little poor kids in Adelanto, Ca. Thank you, Pastor and Mrs. Sandberg!


8. God's promises. In the past few years my favorite promise is that if I lack wisdom and ask Him for it, He said he'd give it to me, "liberally and upbraideth not."


9. Forgiveness. God's love has covered a multitude of sins... my sins.
10. Friends. I have lots of good friends. Sometimes I get feeling lonely, but really when I count them all up, I have many many friends... the world seems smaller when you are a Christian. We are connected by Him despite the differences in personality, or location, or interests or any other things which typically friendships are made of. I'm very glad for my friends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Eggnog is on the shelves, people!!!

Oh. yeah. I love it!!!

I had a coupon for $1 off 2, so I had to get two. Had to. Don't you agree?

The Sugar Cookie flavor looked so appealing in the store and I just about broke the speed limit in order to get home and try it... but it was a little disappointing. The best way I can think of to describe it is that if you are a person who likes bubble gum ice cream, you'll love this. Not that it tastes anything like bubble gum ice cream but it's that same super sweet sugary sensation. Not my favorite. I still managed to drink half of that carton and have no intentions of throwing the rest away... but not my favorite.

The cinnamon is de-lish!! That carton is gone. No one else in my house likes it. So yeah, I drank a whole carton and a half yesterday. Don't judge me... don't you dare judge me! ; )

Egg nog season is bad bad bad for me. I like to pretend that I can live off of liquids only... hot tea, diet Pepsi, coffee, chai, iced coffee, diet root beer. These are staples of my diet. Of course I can not thrive on them and every few days crash into a "I-need-real-food" coma and Seth swings by Taco Bell and gets me a steak taco to resuscitate me. I don't why I do this... I just love these yummy drinks more than I do food... and if you think about it, it's cheaper and easier and faster and no clean up. So why doesn't everyone live this way!?! I'm still holding out for some scientist to invent a pill that contains all our necessary nutrients and vitamins so we can get over this 3 meals a day trend. I am partially joking, obviously. I do cook a decent meal every week night... tonight: Chinese Pork Ribs! YUM! I can smell them cooking right now! I'll have to post that recipe- it's a good'un!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Origins

Isn't Thanksgiving the best holiday?!! It's not as hectic and commercialized as Christmas... although I do love Christmas too. But a whole holiday devoted to being thankful is such a good thing. My pastor, who also loves Thanksgiving, always brings up the point that without the Lord, who are people thankful to? The whole country stops and celebrates Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, they aren't directly their thanks to the One who deserves it.

I found these facts about the history of Thanksgiving, and it's original purpose, to be very interesting and helpful. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, may each of remember that it's more than just turkey and pies! (And I love me some apple pie!!). This info is directly from the Christian Law Association website. You can find much more on their site than I included here.

The First National Thanksgiving

America’s first national Day of Thanksgiving occurred on September 25, 1789. It was the nation’s first official act set by Congress after that body completed the Constitution and Bill of Rights. According to the early equivalent of the Congressional Record:

Mr. [Elias] Boudinot said he could not think of letting the session pass without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:

Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer. . .

Mr. Roger Sherman justified the practice of thanksgiving on any single event not only as a laudable one in itself but also as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ. . . . This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion.

President George Washington heartily concurred with this request to thank Almighty God at the birth of the new Constitution. He issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation, declaring in part:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.

So much for any hint of the desire for a “separation of church and state” to be found in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights! While our Founders wanted to prohibit the establishment of an official national church, they quite obviously had absolutely no intention of separating God from the American government.

Following President Washington’s initial proclamation, days of Thanksgiving were sporadically proclaimed.

Another by President Washington in 1795;
One by John Adams in 1799;
Others by James Madison in 1814 and 1815.


But most official Thanksgivings in early America were observed at the state level. By 1815, the various state governments had issued at least 1,400 official calls for prayer and thanksgiving or for prayer and fasting.

President Lincoln’s Proclamation

While our Founders wanted to thank God for the new nation they had just established, Thanksgiving did not become an annual event in America until the time of President Abraham Lincoln. After being importuned by Sarah Josepha Hale, a popular women’s magazine editor, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November, 1863, as a day “of Thanksgiving and Praise to our benevolent Father.” He proclaimed this national Day of Thanksgiving in the midst of the darkest days of the Civil War, noting:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. The President continued,

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

The 1863 Day of Thanksgiving was remarkable because it was held during a time in which the Union Army had been losing battle after battle for three extremely brutal and bloody war years.
That time was also a pivotal point in Lincoln’s own personal spiritual life. Just several months earlier, the Battle of Gettysburg had resulted in the loss of more than 60,000 American lives—-in a single battle. President Lincoln would later explain to an Illinois clergyman that it was while walking among the thousands of graves at Gettysburg that he first committed his life to Christ. He confessed:When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.


That tragedy of 60,000 dead affected Abraham Lincoln’s eternal destiny as well as the rest of his brief remaining earthly life. His dedication to Christ was visible in his public pronouncements for the remainder of his presidency.

A Continuing Tradition
Since President Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation, each President has issued an annual proclamation declaring a National Day of Thanksgiving to God, although the actual dates varied widely. It was in 1933 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, another president destined to witness the brutality of war, as well as the chaos of economic collapse, called for an annual national Day of Thanksgiving every fourth Thursday of November. Finally, in 1941, ironically just a few weeks before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of November as an official national Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is there anything cuter...

than this sight: a daddy with his two little girls?

I think not.

We had a busy busy day. After church visitation and the customary lunch at McDonald's afterwards (which by the way- we had a coupon for buy one get one free and the lady totally didn't ring that in correctly and charged us... that's coming straight out of our non-existent retirement fund!) Gonna take me a few days to get over that! Anyway, Maddie and I headed out to do some errands for church projects. We hit SEVEN stores! It was so crowded and busy in the stores and on the roads. She was a gem though and was rewarded with a big fat gum ball. She was so fun to spend time with. She is such a little person these days, you know? Making comments and chit chatting with me.... she was very enjoyable company. She is in the habit lately of using cliches in irrelevant ways. She says "You're barking up the wrong tree!" all the time for no apparent reason. It's quite humorous to watch her emphatically tell Eden that she is barking up the wrong tree and of-course Eden had no idea she was barking at all. So Maddie tells her again so that she will really know for sure that she is indeed barking up the wrong tree. It could go on for a good half an hour. When she does wrong, her line is "I'm so so sorry; I will try to do my best next time." And this is said very dramatically with big remorseful eyes turned up at you, searching your face for evidence that you are actually buying it.

This picture was taken in the evening when we again went out to try to find some needed things, which we were not successful at. But I got a Chai out of the outing so well worth it! ; ) By the time we came home for the night, and Seth headed out for the weekly youth meeting, my feet and purse were in sad condition. My purse managed to become to most disorganized catastrophe of a purse on the planet. If an award existed for that prestigious title, I would be the winner hands down. My feet as still very organized, thank you, but tired and invoking their "Slippers Only" rights.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good Idea ~ Bad Idea

I am an idea person. I have lots of ideas all the time… trouble is… many of these ideas are NOT good ideas. Here are some examples… (why I’m sharing this? Who knows? What’s wrong with me!?!)


My not so good ideas… there- that’s a nice way of saying BAD IDEA:

The pastel chenille rug in the girls’ bedroom. My hormonal nine month pregnant self thought it was the perfect finishing touch to my ultra-girly nursery. As I awaited Madison’s arrival, I would stand in the doorway of her little room admiring it's pastel overkill... all organized and tidy and matching perfectly. And then… ah, and then. That poor rug has been abused. Between diaper cream that a very naughty Maddie rubbed all over it, to urine accidentally landing there during potty training gone horribly wrong, it is in sad condition. It was bad idea… a good idea would have been a.) No rug at all b.) A plastic rug, if there were such a thing!

Hooded baby towels. They’re cute as can be, be seriously… not practical. When my naked, wet, shivering newborns were coming out of the bath, I didn’t care how cute the towel was or if it matched the washcloth… I just wanted a thick warm towel to wrap them up in. My friend, Terri, faithfully stands by the hooded baby towels… so to each her own!

Changing newborn baby on carpet. You know how it happens… you just want to do a quick change right there in the living room instead of taking the time to put the baby on the changing table, or putting something protective under the baby. After all, this diaper probably isn’t poopy- the last 6 were so surely, she’s done. But alas… that lovely mustard colored goo with magical staining powers is awaiting your discovery, and somehow leaks out and puts a nasty glob on the carpet. I won’t tell you which parent in this house made this crucial mistake but it wasn’t me! ;) Next baby: putting a pastic changing pad under the couch for easy access when the walk to the changing table is just too far.

Warming zone on the electric stove top. Do you know what that is? It's a small fifth burner that doesn't cook... just a place to keep a pot warm. I’m happy to say that it was not a decision maker for us- we just got the cheapest decent one… but at the time we bought our range, that warming zone seemed pretty awesome! How cool, I thought! We’ll use it all the time! Five years later, and that knob hasn’t been turned more than twice.

Giving Maddie that one first drink of my iced coffee from McDonald's. Big mistake! Now that girl loves them! I will give her a drink or two out of mine, all the while feeling the shocked stares of people around me. You poison your child this way? Call the CPS!

Lest you think I’m a dunce… okay maybe I am a little… I do occasionally have a GOOD idea! And here they are:

Removing the fabric pad from my high chair. I know, I’m a mean mom. My sweet little Eden sits on hard plastic. She doesn’t seem to care, and it’s so much easier to clean up. During these winter months, she’s got on enough layers to keep her padded anyway. During the summer, I’d put down a dish towel so her bare skin did not have to rest on plastic. It’s the little things like not having a high chair cushion to scrub every day that make life easier!

Putting a basket by the door for shoes. I wish I had the character to remove the girls’ shoes at the door and immediately put them away in their bedroom, but what usually happened was a messy clump of dirty shoes by the back door. Now, there is a nice little rug with a nice little basket with nice little girl shoes awaiting our next outing. They are still dirty shoes but until I figure out a way to remove all dirt, mud, and leaves from the world, I'll just deal with it.

Welcoming butter back into my life. For several years, I exiled butter in an effort to be thin/healthy but have recently been converted back to land of butter love. And you know what? Butter is good… real good. Thanks for patiently waiting for my return, dear butter. I will never forsake you again.

Starting a blog. Yup. It was a good idea. I have a place to sort out my thoughts, am more consciously aware of the good things in my day and have made a few new friends. Sometimes it feels like this is just a socially acceptable way of talking to myself but hey, I do talk to myself, and did before blogging, so no biggie. If you're reading this, thanks for being a part of one of my GOOD ideas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prayers Answered

I have updated the prayer list on the sidebar because two needs have been met:

~ Amy's family has recovered from that nasty bug.

~ My husband's cousin's wife (that sounds ridiculous) my friend, Julie (there- that's simpler, and true) had a healthy baby boy today. Her announcement:

Announcing Levi Edward!
Born 9:08 AM, 11/19
7 lbs. 10 oz.
21 1/2" Long
Mom and son are fantastic after a long night and a quick c-section. We appreciate your prayers! Praise God!
Pray for Julie as she recovers from this unexpected c-section. He looks like a real cutie in the picture she attached to an email.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Abundance

I mentioned in my last post that I am anti-stuff. This may have left the impression that I am not materialistic. While I wish that were true… it’s not exactly the truth. I am materialistic… I like nice things around me and own more clothes than one should be legally allowed… maybe our new administration will start taxing me on it, so that may change!

Anyway, I jokingly tell Seth that he should think my materialistic tendencies as a good thing because materialistic people are very easy to shop for… he never has to be one of those stumped husbands wondering what in the world to get his wife for Christmas or her birthday. I like everything!!! Basically, if it’s pink, pretty, has a butterfly on it, is supposed to organize my house or life better, if it guarantees to make my skin smoother and my pores tighter, if it smells wonderful, if it’s made out of chocolate, if it will prevent chocolate from making me fat, if it will add volume and luster to my hair, if it’s clinically proven to make my children geniuses by the time they turn 5, if it’s state of the art, or if it matches something I already have, I want it!!

I feel like I was just confessing to a priest my sin of coveting.

Lately I’ve been spending more time than usual shopping in stores or online or with catalogs as I scour the earth for the best deals on Christmas gifts, and gifts for a few family members with birthdays right around this time. Who has the nerve to have a birthday near Christmas?!!! My husband and my mother, that’s who! With this extra browsing time, I have developed a bad case of the “I wants”. I know that NONE of you have ever wanted to buy something that wasn’t an absolute necessities (which- please define for me… it’s a slippery slope!) or something that you could not afford or something frivolous. But I do… =(

I’ve been feeling convicted about my lack of contentment… I know God has been so good to me, and I have all that I need and more!! But that doesn’t automatically turn the “I wants” off. It should… my gratefulness SHOULD replace my feelings of dissatisfaction. All I can say is that I’m working on it.

Can I share with you something that does in a BIG way, put it all in perspective for me? Our church helps support the ministry of David and Debbie Bolos in Arequipa Peru. Along with a productive church, the Bolos’ also began New Hope Children’s Home. The stories of these precious little kids in this poverty stricken area are absolutely heart breaking. The tales we hear in newsletters or when the Bolos family visited our church send tears down my cheeks. Starvation, parental neglect, abuse, abandonment… children taking care of their younger siblings because mom’s new boyfriend didn’t want them, children living on the streets, children selling themselves as slaves for survival, parents selling children as slaves for alcohol, mothers hitting children as a last ditch effort to stop their crying out for food which she has none to give. And there are so many of them. In this month’s letter, Brother Bolos described his heartache as they had to turn away about 50 children for lack of room for them. They are simply maxed out. He also introduced their latest project and asked for our help. They intend to begin serving hot meals at least once a day and allow all street children to come and at least receive a good meal for that day. There is so much more that they need and that the Bolos want to do, but at the very least they can feel full in their tummies, feel loved by someone, and hear about the Jesus who died for them. Our church is collectively putting together a “Thanksgiving Offering” to help them with this endeavor. If there is a ministry on earth, aside from my own church, that I want to give to, this is it.

My life is blessed abundantly. I have a warm home, a loving husband, and two healthy daughters sleeping in their comfortable beds right now. We have food every day. We never have to wonder if we’ll eat today. I’ve never had to deny my children food when they were hungry because I simply didn’t have any to give them. I have a Bible all to myself. We don’t have to rip chapters out and pass them along with other believers as we might have to in a communist country. I have never been sold to stranger. I have never rummaged through dumpsters or stolen for survival. I have a washing machine and dryer that work wonderfully. Not one time in my life have a washed my clothes on a washboard in a creek. I don’t even have to use a laundry mat. I could go on and on, of-course. Abundance. That is a great word to describe my life.

“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” I Tim. 1:14

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A lovely view...

As I sat in our church parking lot waiting for my husband (life with one vehicle...), I thought about what a pretty place this is. Upstate NY is really very pretty... not in a knock my socks off, dramatic way like so many California scenes are... but in a quiet, serene way. Fall is by far the best season here. My mother in law has often commented on the bare trees all around us in late fall and all winter. To her, they are elegant looking. When I see their silhouette against a clear blue sky, like I saw today, I tend to agree. I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination... but I do carry my camera everywhere because I'm a bit obsessed with taking pictures of my daughters (with kids this cute, I'm sure you can understand why!). I rolled my window down and took this shot... I'm sure it's all "wrong" but I love the sun shinning a crisp round glow through the trees, and I love the shadows across the asphalt. If you stand on top of Harts Hill, next to Harts Hill Baptist Church, every direction you look, you will see a similar sight. It's a lovely view. This is my window sill, the view that I enjoy several times a day, whenever I am working at the sink or counter top:



I was inspired to take of a picture to share with you all because I always look at the little mementos on my window sill and think "Man, what a beautiful view I have!" But then while taking this picture and considering the background, it for the first time occurred to me that (gasp!) I actually don't have a very nice view! My window... the one window out of all the windows in my house that I actually look out on a regular basis, is facing the side of our neighbor's house and backyard. Not exactly a sight one could sell tickets to see! The houses in our neighborhood are narrow and close together... so there is a 8 foot wide driveway separating us and this neighbor. But I still will share with you what I consider to be a "lovely view".

I am "anti-stuff". That is my term for my deep, strong desire to NOT have nick knacks and trinkets cluttering every surface in my house. I love to throw things away, or give them away, or any other means to get STUFF out of my house. I am not an overly sentimental person, and for a long time I wouldn't keep ANY tokens or souvenirs at all. I would ask myself "Does it have a function?" and if the answer was no, than the item was chucked! That would apply to cheesy giveaways at fairs to great grandmother's miniature tea cup collection. Well, my great grandma never did have such a collection, so no one get upset! It was a make believe example. My point is that I just don't like to hang onto things... they are just THINGS.

But the little tokens on my window sill are among the few to "make the cut" and have an honored position on my window sill! ;) Starting from left to right:

The handkerchief reads "Mother" and has a bundle of decorative old fashioned clothes pins resting on it. These were gifts from Cheryl Suddarth. Cheryl's daughter, Holly and I have been friends since we were 8 and 9 yrs. old! She was my maid of honor and one of the prettiest people on earth, inside and out. Their whole family was so generous and wonderful to me as a teenager and I'm sure I spent more time at their house than my own! Holly's mom, Cheryl is one of those rare people who loves everyone... no matter what. She'd do anything for anyone. She seems to always have one or two people in her life at all times that are having difficult times that she reaches out to. She invites them into her home and just loves them, feeds them delicious food, teaches them how to do something new and is just a friend. I was fortunate enough to one of those people a long time ago. Cheryl has a country style of decorating... every surface has a homemade do-dad of some sort, a handmade quilt over every arm rest on every chair or couch, dainty little flowers painted by Cheryl herself on every thing. It's just homey in every way. These country style little things are the only only country looking things I own but they make this house homey, don't you think? And most importantly, they remind me of Cheryl, and the scrawny awkward teenager girl that spent hours sitting at her kitchen table who grew up to me. Sometimes, those days seem like a past life... my life is so very different now. I feel like I somehow need to be reminded of where I came from, who I am deep inside regardless of geographical location and new roles in life, and who helped me along the way.

Clipped into those clothespins is a poem sent to me by Seth's Grandma McCoy. G'ma McCoy is as sharp and "with it" and I am, maybe more. She has a custom of sending a few of her old recipes in my birthday cards and one year, this was included:


Faith Always Has Work To Do


Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a story to tell-


While others may be hungry, we are eating very well!


With home, health and happiness, I shouldn't want to fuss-


By this great stack of evidence, God's been very good to us!


Next, is the blue wood wick candle, a birthday gift from my sister-in-law, Suzanne and her family. I love it and I love each of my sisters in law. It's so wonderful to have relatives that I not just related to but are my genuine friends. Sure makes things easier when you don't have to fake liking each other, huh?!

And lastly is that cute card featuring a couple of kiddos in love.... it's of-course from Seth. It's especially fun because I think those kiddies look similar to what Seth and I looked like as kids... him a toe headed blond and me silly and giggling.... okay that's still pretty much me! ;) I will not tell you what is written inside but I am blessed with a very romantically minded husband who lavishes so much attention on me, I'm a bit embarrassed by it! When we were dating and first began getting "serious"... you know... wink wink... (okay, I don't know what I'm winking about...), we were sitting in church with a good friend of mine. I left for a minute or two and while I was gone, he said to my friend, "Kayte is so pretty, right?" and my friend, being the Cheese Head that she was, prompted Seth to say that to ME... not just her. So unsuspecting me comes back to the pew and sits down. My friend occupies herself with counting specs on the tile floor and Seth leans in and goes into this 5 minute long speech about my beauty- Yada Yada Yada.... blah blah blah. I couldn't take it. What is one supposed to say after such a compliment? Um... thanks. You're cute too. That just seemed so lame. And I certainly wasn't about to go into a 5 minute long speech of my own... I'm not the Cheese Head here. Do you know what I mean by "Cheese Head?" A Cheese Head is a person who feels comfortable sitting in church with crowds of people everywhere around you and going into an exhortations of your love and affection and devotion. So at that tender precious moment with all of Seth's admiration right out there in the open, I said those three magical words that have never been forgotten: "Thanks Cheese Head". Seth accepted that as the term of endearment that is was and we moved on... much progress as been made on my part, I must say. After 5 yrs. of marriage added to the 3 years of dating, I am developing some Cheese Head tendencies of my own, and he has lost none of his original Cheese Headedness. This card if one of many that I receive often and for no particular reason. He receives some as well. but I guess husbands don't traditionally display their love notes on window sills, do they? That's fine by me. Wouldn't anyone to think I'm a Cheese Head or something.

So there is my lovely views today. I suppose it's just as everything is... the beauty of the view depends on what you linger your eyes on, right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Questions... deep questions...

The wheels in my head are turning tonight but maybe they need some grease because this is all I can come up with! The unanswered inquirers of a silly girl:

If Maddie has two feet (and she does, thankfully)... one left and one right, and she has two shoes, one for the left foot and one for the right foot, doesn't it seem logical that she would get them onto the correct foot approximately 50% of the time, just by chance? But that's not how it happens in reality... we're doing good if she gets them right 15% of the time. Weird.

Why do my arms jiggle? It doesn't matter thin a woman is, unless she is a body builder who is taking testosterone supplements, our upper arms jiggle. Blach!

After how many years of marriage does a husband not have to call across the house things like "Honey, where do we keep the scotch tape?" Should I make him a color coded directory? Hmmm... Christmas present?

And speaking of the woes of womanhood, am I the only one out there who is in need of anti-acne treatments AND anti-wrinkle cream simultaneously?? There is something so wrong and UNfair about this...

Why is there shiny green Easter basket grass on my floor in November?

Why does thinking about jiggly body parts, zits and wrinkles make me want to lie down?

Is it "lie" or "lay"? I've never gotten that concept through my wrinkled, cratered, jiggly head.

Is it bedtime yet?

Have a good night and I hope your minds are a wee bit sharper than mine at the moment!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nursery Fun!

Wanna see some serious cuteness?

Sanitary, no. Adorable, yes.
Now c'mon... doesn't she make you smile!?!!


A handsome young fireman:

Buddies:

The diva of the nursery:
Ring Around the Rosies with play hats on:

video

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Prayer Requests

It seems that lately, there are many burdens... not so much on me, but on people around me. I feel like I could pray all day without ceasing and not get through all the many needs. That is probably the reality ALL the time, and I simply don't always realize it.

I'm going to have a prayer request list in the sidebar that I *promise* to keep current. I'd love to add your requests, too. You can put them in the comments or just email me at kaytemccoy@yahoo.com. For now, I will start with the ones that have been on mind the past few days:

Our cousin, Julie is overdue with her first baby. Waitin', waitin', waitin'... I'm praying that she does not have to be induced, which is scheduled for Thursday if this little boy doesn't get the move on!

My sister-in-law, Suzanne, is expecting boy #4. Being that this is her 4th C-section and she also underwent a major abdominal surgery a few years ago, she'll be cut vertically as opposed to the usual horizontal incision. Please pray for her safety and recovery. C-section scheduled for Dec. 14, which happens to my husband's birthday! Really, Suzanne, you didn't have to give him such an elaborate gift! ; )

Our church just had a phenomenal revival last month, and as was expected, Satan didn't like it very much. I won't elaborate but people are struggling and hurting. At the same time, there is a spirit of "we're not letting Satan have the victory", so that is encouraging.

The church has been in the process of purchasing a new parsonage for us to live in, a cute little house that is very close to the church, since April. The moral of the story is that "short sales" as they are called are actually really really long sales!

My friend, Amy's family has been hit by the flu. We had a similar flu here and I was couped with with sickies for 3 wks. Now, I have 2 children; Amy has 11. Pray for her sanity! Really, pray for them to all get better, and also her father in law is suffering with cancer and awful pain.

Please also pray for me as I begin teaching the teen girls' Sunday School class. I'm excited about it. Mostly I need prayer that I teach them what the Lord's wants them to learn and not "Kayte-ology".

Fords Bush Bible Church in Fort Plain, NY is in need of a pastor. Pray for the Lord's leading and for the church to remain strong during this transitional time. Pay for Brother and Mrs. Keever as they fill in as interim pastor.

Where would we be if couldn't take our burdens to the Lord?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet Eden Grace

The baby of the family (for now): Eden Grace. 18 months old and as cute as a button! She is tenderhearted, crying big fat crocodile tears when scolded or punished. She is not overly cuddley except when tired or sick. When she is the mood to give hugs, I stop what I'm doing and take them!! When I tell her that I love her, she blows me kiss. Her vocabulary is growing daily but I definitely remember Maddie communicating much more clearly at this age. Eden just seems "younger" at 18 mo.s than Maddie did. And that is fine...

She is such a good eater! She'll try ANYTHING. The other day, she picked black olives out of my salad... yuck! I hate black olives! But apparently, Eden likes them because she ate all my olives, and Seth's. Weirdo! What she is NOT good at is sleeping! She is a light sleeper and wakes up over any noise our upstairs neighbor makes. I'm hoping that when we (eventually) move, having her own room will help her (and all of us) get better sleep!
Eden is lanky and slight... just as dainty as can be. You may not notice than it the pictures I post of her... her face is nice and chunky, and she does have enough squishiness to be baby soft, but her legs and arms are so long, there are no rolls to pinch anymore. With bright blue eyes and equally as bright red hair, she gets attention every where we go from the mostly Italian community in which we live. Her red hair was a big surprise to us, and it almost tempted me to change her name. The "Eden" I had been picturing during my pregnancy had dark brown hair, like Maddie. Seth's grandma gets the credit for the red hair. I think it'd be great if we had a blonde next time around! (Seth was very blonde as a kid so there is hope!)

She loves to play with babies and purses... sometimes my purse, which is a no-no! Another area in which she seems "younger" to me than Maddie at this age is that Eden still puts everything in her mouth. She will sit in the sandbox at the park and shovel handful after handful of sand in her mouth! EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww! I remember baby Maddie tasting one clump of dirt, deciding it did not taste good and never did it again. But that silly Eden just loves it! ARGH!!!!! After 15 minutes of slapping her hand and saying "NO!" as she keep shoveling dirt in her mouth, with Maddie watching on, Maddie grabbed a handful, examined it, and threw it her mouth. Instantly, she regretted it and spit it out. I guess she thought she was missing something fantastic if Eden was willing her have a sore hand for this stuff! Needless to say, the sandbox was not visited again! Here she is again, in her element:

Eden is fairly friendly, being sure to say "bye bye" to every cashier or just any ol' stranger that we walk past. When she does get nervous around a stranger, she will lay her head on my shoulder but still look at the newcomer and smile. It's really very endearing to see.

She loves to play in the bath but does not like to share the toys or water with Maddie. Sharing is a MAJOR struggle for Eden... working on it! In the meantime, her future holds many "time outs" in the play pens in the church nursery! Unlike Madie at her age, Eden doesn't really like me to read books to her! :( She gets books out and stacks them and puts them in this container than that... she may flip through and look at pictures but once I start reading, she loses interest. A few books we own have different textures to feel and those hold her attention the best, but we usually don't make it all the way through.

The words she knows that I can think of right now:

Mama, Daddy, "May-Dee" (Maddie), "oooon" (spoon), "mik" (milk), "wow-er" (flower), yeah, no, "keeees" (please), "ta" always said with a nod (thank you), mine (not my favorite word for a toddler to learn!), "bay" (blanket), "tookin'" (cooking), "bay-bill" (Bible), "uuse" (juice), "nigh" (g'night)

Last Sunday she was playing at a play kitchen. Nana asked her what she was doing and she said Tookin'... which is cooking! Cute, huh?









Shopping, Muffins and Bible Time

I've started my Christmas shopping... it's half fun and half stressful. Fun because, hey, I like to shop and I like to give people presents! It can be stressful, though, to try to come up with gifts that our family will enjoy but also stay within the budget. In a way, I enjoy the challenge of staying in budget... just like for my weekly grocery shopping, it's almost a hobby to see how much I can get for as little as possible. But wouldn't it be fun to be rich if for no other reason than you could just go out and buy something fabulous for everyone you know!?!

I did make good progress yesterday, and had coupons and store promotions to help. Can you believe that it's almost Thanksgiving?? Where did 2009 go? I'm really beginning to get into the holiday spirit... I just want to make hot chocolate and eat cookies and watch "White Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life". Why does "getting into the spirit" always include massive calorie in take? Hmmm....

After dinner last night, I decided to try a recipe I found on this neat blog, Pioneer Woman Cooks. You know, I never read a single blog until a few months ago and now that I'm into the Blogger world, when I found things like this, I think "DUDE! What did I do before blogs?" ;) Yeah... I'm from California. I say "Dude". Anyway, these Pumpkin Spice Muffins came out deliciously! Maddie helped so I have to share the credit. These muffins embody all that is autumn and homey and comforting! Sadly, I forgot to add vanilla to the cream cheese frosting... my eye simply missed it because it was the only ingredient that printed on the second page. Still delicious but really... everything is better with vanilla extract! Somehow I still managed to eat 2 last night and 2 for breakfast.


This morning we got off to rocky start here at the McCoy abode. The girls have been getting up very cranky and very early (there is a connection there, if they could only see it!) for two days in a row. I foolishly stayed up late last night so I was particularly tired. Okay, I'll admit it... I was cranky, too. Eventually, everyone mellowed out... maybe those pumpkin muffins for breakfast helped! =) With Maddie playing in the living room and Eden playing in the bedroom, I decided to attempt the impossible: quiet time with the Lord while both girls were awake. I sprawled out on my bed (did you notice in my Texture post that we have a full sized bed? Two tall lanky people sharing one full sized bed. Insanity. But that's all that can fit in our bedroom.)... anyway, sprawled out on my bed with the door open to listen for knife drawers opening or furniture being dragged to climb up onto something, etc. I was actually able to have some time along and wasn't disturbed until after some prayer and a few chapters of my Bible were read. And then Eden decided that she had had enough alone time, and apparently, so had mommy! She climbed up with a bag of little toys and showed me each prized possession while I finished what I was reading. She was being so adorable, and looked so cute and fresh from her bath that I ran to grab my camera since it's been a while since I've gotten good pictures of my pretty little Eden Grace. The trouble is that she always becomes fascinated with the camera and stops her adorable activities. She wants to see the "baby" (her) on the screen on the back of my camera as I review photos. I guess it's the price we pay for the convenience of digital cameras!






Isn't she sweet?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet Madison

The next family member to introduce to you is Madison Anise. She just turned 3 yrs. old and is a lot of fun to be around... well, most of the time! And when she isn't, a nap usually helps turn things around!

Maddie is like me in a lot of ways. She is extremely stubborn. When she reached about 14 mos. old, if I said the sky was blue, she said it was red. She has her own ideas about everything. For a few desperate months, I did not know what to do with her. I thank God for direction in the area of child training. She has made great strides in obeying and being more agreeable for which I am so thankful. I can not think of anything that I have put more effort into and wanted so desperately. That may sound dramatic but I think a parent of a strong willed child will understand what I mean. She still retains some contrary tendencies but I think some things will just be a part of her personality that I must accept. After all, I know exactly who (me!) she gets it from. You can be assured that if I pull out a new dress that she has never worn before, she will hate it and not want to wear it. After being forced a few times, she will begin to get that dress out herself, declaring how pretty it is. She just needs to warm up to every new idea or change of routine. It's only been in the last few months that she has not screamed like a banshee when Seth and I leave the girls with my mom for our date night. My mom baby sat for over a year before Maddie would not be devastated. I'm sure the neighbors thought a murder took place at our house every Tuesday night!



Another quality she has, which reminds me of myself, is her independent spirit. Brushing teeth, going potty, buckling her seat belt, getting dressed, putting on shoes, opening the door, the list goes on and on. "I can do it! I can do it!!" And you know what? I actually like this characteristic! It's great to be able to tell her go get herself dressed and ready to go while I do other things! She is surprisingly strong. She seems to have some her Seth's natural agility ('cause it most definitely did NOT come from me!). Since her most frequent play mates are her older cousins (mostly boys) it's a good thing that she's somewhat tough! At the same time, she very beautiful. Her dreamy blue-green eyes, thick dark lashes and vibrant smile makes me stop so often and think My goodness, child... you are gorgeous! Of course what you see in the photos I post is her cheesy fake smile... I don't know that I have every gotten her real genuine joyful smile in a photo. Such a shame!

She is a nervous creature. She is very uncomfortable in crowds and is quite unsocial at church. This we are, and have been, working on for a long time. It is rude not to answer an adult who speaks to you. Progress is slow.... Going to the pediatrician is a major ordeal. She gets anxious just walking into the building. The exam is something like trying to get a enraged bull to let you look in it's ears and listen to it breathe. She is downright distraught during the whole thing and will talk about it for days after. We discuss exactly what the doctor will do and how Dr. Taylor is our friend and all that for days before hand. She told me this past time that she would not get nervous but of course, she did. Now she is saying that next time she will not be scared. Maybe I need a pediatrician who does exams under sedation? A little baby Prozac? When we go to story time at the library, will cling to me while Eden pets the man dressed as Clifford. Encouraging her to be friendly or go do what the other kids are doing seems to only make it worse. I will just have to accept her as a shy person. All I ask is that she be respectful and not rude.


She loves to sing, and sing LOUDLY. The words end up being repetitious none sense. Going down the aisles in the super market, she'll be "singing" away, with the only phrases that one can discerned being "God hates our sin!!!" and other pleasant sentiments. How about the itsy bitsy spider, Maddie!?!!!!

Today she told me that soon she will be 5 and than she can go to college.

While standing at the kitchen counter next to me as I was cooking, she asked if she could help. I often let her stir or pour, etc. but this time I was cutting raw chicken and said no, because she wasn't old enough. She accepted that and waited a few minutes before informing me that she was now older and ready to use the knife.

When she first heard the phrase "No way, Jose!" she started saying it "No way, Horsey!" and said it that way for about a year.

When Seth comes home, he would greet her with "Hey Maddie-licious!" so she started making up ridiculous nicknames for both of us all the time. Just whatever random thing popped into her mind: "Hey Candy Bar!" "Hey Meat Roll!" "Hey Chicken Boo!" Obviously, this weird stuff comes from her father. ;)

Today I told her, "I love you, Maddie" and she gave me a kiss and said, "Me, too!"

She calls helicopters "hel-planes".

She is at a great age. She is able to reason (most of the time), is making logical connections, learning new concepts everyday, is affectionate, is growing leaps and bounds in her gross motor skills, her sense of humor is keeping us entertained, she is beginning to show concern for other people's well being, and can remember that certain actions bring good results and certain actions bring poor results. She is also, unfortunately, realizing that mommy can not see her every move and she may possibly be able to get away with something if she's real sneaky. I'm going to start praying every day that she will caught when she does wrong.

I have truly enjoyed watching her imagination develop. What fun to watch her take some objects and pretend they are something completely different and be engrossed in that make believe world. She enjoys crafts and making things and helping me cook. She wants to do what adults do. And I like that! She has been helping me put away laundry and dishes since she could walk and is a genuine help now. She can fold her own clothes and knows just where they belong. If things are in disorder in her drawer, she either fixes it or if it's big jumble, will ask me to help her "or-gam-ize". She can pick up toys and sort them into the correct places as well as I can. Of-course somedays that doesn't happen. She likes to feel needed and appreciated. And I figure that with a few more girls, I will have an early retirement as keeper of this house! ; )




Meet Seth

Being that I am a "Nosey-Rosey" who likes to hear about other people's families, especially the families of the writers of blogs I follow... I thought it might be fun to introduce you to each member of our little family. And even if it's of no interest to anyone else at all, I just feel like writing short biographies of each of them! So, let's begin with my handsome husband, Seth. This portrait was taken for church literature, and I think he looks really young here... but don't be fooled... he turns 28 next month. I know right... he's getting up there! Might as well just round up to 30. ;) You may not be able to see it here, but the day before these photos were taken, he was accidentally poked in the eye while playing basketball... it was very red and irritated. Nothing like having church portraits with an Assistant Pastor who looks like he was in bar fight! Of-course, I was 8 mos. pregnant and bloated, so I wasn't about to make fun of him!

Seth is the youth pastor at our church, Harts Hill Baptist Church in Whitesboro, NY. His duties include being the principle of our very small academy. One day I will write a post all about being a youth pastor's wife. For now, let's just say that I eat pizza way too much!

My husband grew up in a Pastor's home, the youngest of 5 children. His middle name is Isaac, but I am convinced that the middle initial "I" actually stands for "Integrity". He is the definition of "Mr. Steady". Complete with a corny sense of humor, oodles of natural athleticism and a general knowledge of all things construction, carpentry and mechanical. Any time our family gathers, he is found wrestling on the floor with our nephews (and our daughters jumping on top on the dog pile). He enjoys golf and just about every sport, and is competitive but never brags or shows poor sportsmanship. We are casual Yankees and Bills fans... although watching the Bills is more frustration than enjoyment most of the time. I say "casual" because Seth really doesn't get fanatical about it. He just keeps up on the stats and watches a game on Sunday afternoon.

He's a fantastic daddy. He plays with the girls almost every moment that he's with them. He's the diaper changing kind of daddy... although when we were expecting the first time, he insisted that he wasn't going to be changing any diapers. I incredulously said, "You're going to make me change every single diaper all of our children have?" "No," he assured me, "My mom will change some". Thankfully, he was only joking.


We were married on June 26, 2004. We met at Hyles Anderson College when I was 16 yrs. old and he was 18. His sister was good friends with one of my good friends, and thus a friendship was made, which eventually... and I do mean eventually... led to more. It took him forever to ask me out! Of-course, I wasn't very patient. Once he did decide to date me, he simultaneously decided that he wanted to marry me as well. He didn't come right out and say that, but it was somehow made obvious, and that freaked my 17 yr. old (by then) self out! I got counsel and told this eager beaver to slow things down. Well... habits of seeing each other too often had already been formed so the "slow down" thing didn't happen. So I broke it off. *sigh* 11 months later, with maturity gained by both of us, we commenced our dating... this time sensibly and with God's direction. 2 1/2 yrs. later, we were married!

Some facts about Seth:

~ He loves peanut butter... he slaps some on Oreos, chips, carrots, celery, ice cream. If we run out of Jiffy Creamy, a state of emergency is declared!

~ He doesn't like pie. Weird, right?

~ He hates soda. He only drinks water, tea, coffee and juice.

~ He has an super charged sense of smell. A sharpie marker, nail polish, paint, Pine Sol, etc. bothers him to no end.

~ He is 5'11" and weighs 157 lbs. I've tried for 5 yrs to fatten him up... not happening.

~ He sings bass wonderfully!

~ He has a strategy for everything and he's always calculating numbers in his head.

He's a great guy and I love him bunches! I don't know why God gave me such a wonderful man, but I'm glad He did!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Tree

Maddie made this beautiful piece of art for me today using this picture, some construction paper and her fingerprints in red, green, brown and gold paint. I did this craft with a primary Sunday School class and I really wish I had taken pictures of their finished products. Those 4, 5 and 6 yr. old kids really did a fantastic job! I think Maddie's come out very well, too. And she had a great time making it.









Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sense of Touch

The writing challenge this week at A thousand words... and then some is "Texture: Sense of Touch". These are my thoughts:





Silky and luxurious on top, cozy and warm under the covers.

The perfect retreat for two lovers.


Ringlets in fiery red, a beauty so rare,

Nothing so tempting to stroke as Eden's lovely hair.


Hands that work, build and do; my pleasure to feel.

All that is strength and beauty, velvet and steel.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eden's New Word!

video

As I carried Eden around the house this moring, she kept pointing at the fake flowers, or pictures of flowers saying "Wow-er"... eventually I figured out this was her version of "flower". I love this age....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The young and the restless...

Hope that title doesn't scare you away!?! ;)



As of last month, I am 26 yrs. old. In some ways, I feel exactly as I did when I was 17 yrs. old. For me, that was the age that I pretty much joined the “adult species”… you have to understand that I went to across the country to college when I was 16 yrs. old, so I may have joined adulthood a little younger than most. Not that it’s anything to brag over… it’s just the way it happened for me. More than age, just the events of life, such as marriage and children, have to some degree, made me feel a little out of touch with the teenage girl that I used to be. The inner struggles I had, and the insecurities I felt, now seem a bit silly. But I know… I absolutely know… that they were quite real and quite serious at the time when I was experiencing them. I wish I could have seen then how temporary the troubles and dramas would turn out to be. But you don’t know what you don’t know, right? Of-course, I don’t mean to minimize the concerns that kids and teenagers feel. They can be just as stressful, even depressing, as adult woes. Especially in the world in which we live. The sad truth is that many children never enjoy a childhood. They’re exposed to horrific things and their innocence is stolen. But I am getting into a whole different topic…


I’ve been trying to put myself back in the shoes of 16, 17, 18, 19 yr. old girl, on the brink of a blank but hopeful future. Often… too often… we sit back and watch young people in this stage teetering between wisdom and foolishness… right and wrong…. good and bad. They have been taught what is right, in some cases taught more than others… shown the example, in some cases more than others… but then it is their turn to decide. Will they sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate? It’s frustrating to me, because I’m not really qualified or in a position to do what I am tempted to do … grab them by the shoulders and shake them until they think clearly! ;) Or even better would be to possess their bodies and make the right choices for them. But that’s not how it works, is it? I look back and I remember being in those shoes… I would have severely resented being shook by the shoulders or having my body possessed. But I am pretty sure that I did tempt a few people to try those tactics on me, just as I am now tempted to try those approaches with young girls whom I know and love. So I pray… and look for opportunities to do whatever I can to help them… and then vent my frustration on my blog. ;) The cycle is complete!


If I ever did gain the audience of one of these young women, there is much I would want them to know. I want them to know that their mothers, though in their 30s and 40s now, were once young girls, too. They were not aliens who hatched middle aged. They are emotional creatures too and just might know what they’re thinking/feeling/experiencing and they would actually and truly love to talk to them about it.


I would want them to know that this stage is short and fleeting. The late teen and college years are a fast paced blur. In a few years, they will be living out the choices of today… and it is for forever and there are no do-over’s. They, their parents, their future mate, and their future children will reap the consequences, whether positive or negative, for the rest of their lives. So much of the “What will I do with my life?” question involves dating and mating and marriage. I wish that every young girl would grasp this one idea: The man you marry will probably be your children’s father. I don’t know if this is normal, but I thought about that while I was dating. I loved my children before I knew I’d ever have them. I wanted a good daddy for them. Not that this was the only quality I looked for, but it encompasses a lot. Part of that thought includes the premise that Mr. Right had better be a hard worker… I mean not just "once in a while a hard worker" or "when trying to impress someone hard worker"… I mean a “go to work every single day and work when you don’t feel like it hard worker”. It’s really heartbreaking to know sweet, nice girls who marry funny, cool guys and end up with a miserable life, in which the burden of providing, rearing the kids, and every other responsibility is placed solely on their shoulders. Some of my friends ended up as single moms, some might as well be single moms. It’s extremely sad. It will not matter one iota how cool of a car he drives or how funny and cute his is when you need a man around and cannot find one. Marriage is so sweet and such a source of joy… when it’s right. When it’s not… it’s sorrow and misery. I wish every young girl I know could marry a godly young man and have a wonderful marriage build on the Lord. I wish they would never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate in this area most of all.


Sometimes I think that perhaps young people are not debating between a good life or a bad life… but between a great life and a mediocre life. Between living out God’s will for them, being married to God’s choice and enjoying the peace and security that it holds or just mimicking what is more typical… veering just a little at time, slowly, unconsciously away from the principles they know to be right; haphazardly bouncing through the threshold of adulthood and winding up with a cheap imposter of the great life that could have been theirs. And they might not even realize it’s not the “real deal” that they passed by. It looks just like what most of their friends, and maybe family, ended up with too, so they think it’s just as good as it gets. But it’s disappointing and unfulfilling. And eventually, full of regrets.


So what do I want a 16,17,18,19 yr. old girl to go? Do right. Just do right and then do right some more. Get on that path and just stay the course. Buy the truth and sell it not. Fall in love with Jesus before letting any dumb boy even close to your heart. Get a godly counselor in your life and give them permission to shoot straight with you, and then don’t get mad at them when they do. They watch for your souls.


Maybe it’s presumptuously of me to even post all this. Like, what do I know, really? In 20 yrs., I’ll be writing a post about the things I wish 20something year old wives and mothers would get a grip on! I know I’m still a "whipper snapper" in a lot of ways. If you older and wiser women out there have more to add, I’m all ears! You can even tell me what I need to realize! I hereby give you permission to shoot straight with me! ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

For some reason, I have always enjoyed hearing product reviews and recommendations from my friends. Maybe it's just because I am cheap and don't want to waste money trying something for myself for fear that I won't like it? I know some people actually get paid, or at least receive free products for trying and providing feed back on products. Where does one sign up for that? I am all about telling the world what I think about just about anything. ;) (Hence, a blog!) I'm partially joking...

Just for fun... because I need to write something light hearted... here are my favorite things! Just about every name brand item that I purchase is bought with a coupon and/or on sale, so although some things are more expensive, by the time I check out, it is the same, if not less, than generic. Of course, many things generic is just fine, like dental floss. Do we really need designer floss? No me!

Cleaning Products

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Mr. Clean All Purpose Cleaner with Febreeze in "Lavender Vanilla & Comfort" scent
I really couldn't say whether this actually cleans any better than anything else but it smells heavenly!

Pledge Multi Surface
This also smells wonderful but I do believe it actually works a bit better than most, too!

Books: Fiction

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers This book was also made into a movie from Fox Family which was also enjoyable!

Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers A type of fictional history account of the 5 women mentioned in Christ's genealogy. Fascinating, interesting and helpful in making bible characters and stories really come to life and become real and actual people with whom we can relate.

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe I really loved this book. Don't assume it's just about slavery, although that obviously is a vital part of the plot. It contains so much more than that. Beware, however, that you will probably cry!

Books: Non-Fiction
Babywise by Ezzo and Buckman This was so incredibly helpful to me when I was a new mom. Seth and I truly enjoyed our baby's newborn stage and it was in large part due to the predictable and easy routine that we established right away. We were not sleep deprived zombies stumbling through the day. This is not a hyper-scheduling book... it was just not practical to me that say "at 10am was feeding, Noon was nap time, 3pm was bath time", etc. The principles in this book are about a natural, easy flowing routine (not strict schedule) that makes for a happy baby, and happy mommy. There is no hours of letting baby cry it out in the name of sleeping through the night. It was a major stress reducer to know, for the most part, what to expect and anticipate when. And when (and it surely will happen) things in that routine get out of place, we were confident in adjusting and rearranging the routine so that by night time, we could all settle down for a good night's sleep, even with a newborn. And that is what it is ALL about, folks! Sleep! Mommy needs sleep! Someone should needlepoint that on a pillow!

To Train Up A Child by Micheal Pearl I have mentioned this book before, and I know lots of my friends are already familiar with it. The philosophies and practical teaching in this book is probably the only reason Maddie was not sold to Gypsies on her second birthday. (JOKING!) Honestly, though, it seems that most parents simply repeat the same old discipline tricks that they have seen other parents use, with no thought as to whether they actually work or not. Think of that familiar scene at the McDonald's Play Place. Little Junior is happily playing in the tubes way up high when his mom announces that they are leaving in 5 more minutes. Junior has other plans. When 5 minutes expire and mom announces it's time to go, Junior stays right up in those tubes where her knows mom will not climb up to get him. After demanding, begging, yelling, and pleading, she announces that she is going to leave without him. Yeah right. She is not going to leave without him. I know it, the mom knows it and Junior certainly knows it. I have seen this scenario play out about a hundred times at McDs or the park and not one single time has it ever been effective. Never has little Junior come running down because his mom threatened to leave him. He knows that she doesn't mean it. Or maybe he doesn't... but is abandonment the only way to get a kid to listen?? But over and over again, parents try the same old thing. So what IS a parent to do? Read this book and you'll see discipline in a new way. My focus is no longer on discipline and punishment but rather training. Okay, commercial over.

Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl This book helped me understand my man and appreciate him more fully. It was actually very convicting. I read this book slowly on purpose, taking time to digest each chapter. As I said about the Pearls' books, before, there are issues on which I disagree, but there is not an author on earth I agree 100% with, unless I were to write a book, but even then, give me 20 minutes and I'd probably disagree with myself. One nice thing about the Pearls' books, is that there are very inexpensive. The more you buy, the cheaper they get, too.

Foods & Drinks
Chai Latte
Steak
Sweet and Sour Chicken (find recipe in What's For Dinner?)
Homemade salsa
Ice Cream in just about any flavor
Sparkling Grape Juice It MUST be drunk out of a fancy glass!

Household Items

Puffs Plus with Lotion Because a nose in need deserves Puffs Plus indeed!

Luvs Diapers I know a common belief is that when it comes to diapers, name brand is the way to go but I truly think Luvs work just as well as Huggies or Pampers for a few bucks less.

Target brand Baby Wipes Again, usually name brand is preferred, and I agree that most generic wipes are lousy (I do not like WalMart's wipes!). However, Target brand (called Up & Up) is pretty similar to Pampers. and much cheaper. I find coupons for them often, too.

Maybelline Mascara One of the cheapest but still my favorite!

Glade Scented Oil Plug-Ins Vanilla scent all over the house, Clean Linen in the bathroom!

Pampered Chef Pots and Pans These are mighty expensive, and we were so grateful to my aunt and cousin for giving them to us as a wedding gift. I've use them every single day for 5 1/2 yrs. and they are still so awesome. We accidentally dropped a lip a few years ago, and without a reciept or anything, sent it to the company and received a brand new pot and lid replacement. They are fantastic.

Movies

Sense & Sensibility

Pride & Prejudice

Letter Factory from Leap Frog This is a great phonics teaching video for kids. I loved it so much, I purchased other Leap Frog videos but they were not as impressive.

Roman Holiday I just love Audrey Hepburn's dreses....

Rocket Man This could quite possible be the dumbest movie ever but if you watch it late at night and are in a totally silly mood, you will laugh and laugh until you cry. It's 80s movies at it's best.

Soooo, what are YOUR favorite things?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lipstick Liar

Madsion emerged from the bathroom looking like this:




Maddie, did you put on my lipstick?

Noooooo.

Madison, you need to tell me the truth. Did .you. put. on. lipstick????

NO!

Hmmmm. Do I let her in on how I know, or just let her think that I'm all knowing and powerful? Went with the latter. I did, eventually, get a truthfully answer. I have a friend who suggests not giving her kids the opportunity to lie, so maybe I should have asked, "Why did you put on my lipstick without asking?" In any case, whatever I have asked her since this episode, she fesses up with an emphatic "And I didn't lie!!!"

So if you need some tips on lying, or make up application, Maddie is NOT your girl!

"...be sure your sin will find you out." Num. 32:23

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just An Ordinary Day...

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was “Oh, what a good night’s sleep!” With illness consuming our lives for the past solid week, this was the first night in far too long that we all slept straight through the night. And it felt so good! By this time, Seth had been long gone, but I do have groggy memories of cuddling with him before he left for school. He must have come home between early morning prayer meeting at 5 am, and when he leaves for school at 6:45 am.
I had a few minutes to myself to lie in bed and pray before I could hear Eden’s fussing. She and I cuddled in the living room, her with a board book and me with my Bible. Soon, Maddie emerged, with a bit of a sour disposition. I got the girls some cereal and juice and seated them for breakfast. Maddie was still being contrary and did not want food, just juice. The juice was put back in the refrigerator until she could speak without whining. Within about 10 minutes, she was sitting down with her cereal, and the grumpiness was gone. Eden had already been eating for a few minutes by the time Maddie was ready to dig in, and Maddie chided Eden for starting without praying first. I thought that was kind of funny!


In their room playing after breakfast:




Brush teeth, dress the girls, do their hair. That was enough activity to warrant a juice break, and coffee break for mommy!




The girls sat down for Madison’s breathing daily breathing treatment. When Eden went to the kitchen, retrieved a wash clothe and carefully put it over her feet, I took the hint and got her some socks!





Then coloring for a while. I absolutely love these “Color Wonder” markers from Crayola… the fun of markers without the fear of a mess.


It was 10am by now and Eden was ready for a nap. She is transitioning between two naps to one nap so she does not always take a morning nap. But today, she went right down, giving me a chance to jump on the elliptical machine for some much needed exercise. I had taken all last week off… I know they say to keep exercising when you’re sick but I just could NOT do it! And then a shower. I am still not brave enough to take a shower and leave both the girls out and about the house, so I like to do this while Eden naps, or if she does not nap, I bring her in the shower with me. Maddie picked out a movie to watch, Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina, and kept coloring.


After my shower, I got out an inexpensive pre-school book I recently found for Maddie to work through. The first page was focused on following simple directions and coloring certain pictures red. Maddie does know most of the colors, but she was just not in a very studious mood. Her coloring ended up being random scribbles so we put the workbook away. Maybe I’ll try again in a few months. She is BARELY 3 years old, so no worries. She can recognize all the letters and knows most of their sounds. However, coloring within the lines is not a skill she possesses yet. During this time, she made her usual request for hot chocolate… you give a girl hot chocolate ONE TIME while her sister naps and from then on, she thinks Eden’s nap equals hot chocolate time!


At about 12:30 each day, Seth comes home for lunch. It’s always a moment full of excitement as the girls run to the back door as soon as they hear him! Madison has a long standing tradition of getting Daddy’s Bible for him, and Eden is happy to take whatever else he’s holding… lately, his gloves.






Welcoming / attacking Daddy:






After a quick lunch, we took a trip to Barns and Nobles because I have realized that Maddie has out grown all of our books. They are all board books and too baby-ish for her. We purchased one beautiful book about Thanksgiving, but mostly got ideas of what books to look for on eBay. The idea of buying several new books makes a big CHA-CHING sound in my head! If anyone is wondering what to get Maddie for Christmas: BOOKS!

It’s such a sunny nice day, although a bit cold when the cold picks up. We bundled up and went for a short walk. Maddie is a speed demon on her tricycle! Eden is still not feeling 100% but I do think she enjoyed riding in the stroller and getting some fresh air and sun on her skin. I was amused as we took our walk over Seth’s eagerness to teach Maddie “right” and “left”… there seems to be certain areas that are important to him for our kids to know. And directions are one of them!


With Eden acting ready for another nap, we came home and tucked her in. I read our new book to Maddie, who was extremely interested in it! YEAH! I’m always so disappointed if I pick something out thinking that she will love it and it turns out not to be the case! But every picture evoked questions for her and every answer I gave seemed to lead to another question. It was so fun, and I think by Thanksgiving, she (hopefully) will know that it is not just about pie (however important pie is!!).


Seth then left to assist an elderly man in our church. He likes to take Maddie with him to do this because the gentleman enjoys her company and Maddie always feels honored to go off with just Daddy. So with Eden sleeping, and Maddie whisked away with Daddy, I had some free time to enjoy. I opened the refrigerator and cupboard in search of something tempting but could not stand the thought of another fun sized candy bar or wheat cracker. Must do more grocery shopping this week!

With Seth and Maddie home about dinner time, Maddie absolutely needed a nap. She doesn't take a nap every day anymore but coming off this bad flu, she was very tired. So Seth and I ate dinner while they finished their naps, then they ate when they woke up. Kitchen clean up, with the girls helping empty the dish washer, then bath time. A quiet evening home relaxing, then off to make more ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz's. On most Tuesday evenings, my mom comes over to eat dinner with us and babysit they girls for a while so that Seth and I can have a little date. But we've been sick and my mom is still settling into her new apartment, so we postponed. Today was a very very mellow day... probably not as typical as it should be to be considered "ordinary", but low key enough for me to record a normal day in our life at this stage. Maybe some day years from day, we will read this and cherish every detail. Or maybe it'll be just as boring then as it was to read today! ;)

My pastor said something in a sermon recently about building a life is like building a house: one brick at a time. One small choice followed by another followed by another. A few big decisions thrown in along the way, but it’s mostly small things which make up our lives. I suppose I could say that the big choices for us, have already been made as far as we can see right now. The “framework” and “foundation” is already in place. We are Christians and will try to live accordingly. We want our lives to count for the cause of Christ. That automatically means some things are paramount in our daily lives, and some things can not be a part of it. We will live off one income so that I can be home with them. We will do whatever and go wherever the Lord leads. These are the easy choices… these big elements, decided not day to day but established years ago, are the framework, and the Lord and His Word are the foundation. The “bricks”… the daily grind, are the small elements that in reality add up to be what our children will remember. These bricks will enhance the framework, or distract from it. I believe I could I even say that these bricks will validate the foundation and framework.

Recording today’s events and each small choice made, I can see where I have neglected to think through some choices, particularly in the morning hours that the girls and I spend alone at home. Too much time spent chatting via email or FaceBook… although only a moment here and there throughout the day, it adds up to a giant waste of time. Maddie’s daily movie habit. Giving instructions to the girls more than one time without following through with discipline if they do not obey right away. Not planning ahead better with grocery shopping so that I don't have to ask Seth to run out for one ingredient for dinner. Overall, I think our days are great. Some days are much busier and chaotic than today, of course. The morning hours that the girls and I spend at home do not always go so smoothly. The great night’s sleep we enjoyed last night probably contributed the most to how pleasant our morning was today… that and I did not attempt to cram ALL cleaning and housework in one morning.

Our life is a happy life.

"Just an ordinary day" was a theme prompted by A thousand words... and then some.